A scrupulously researched work likely to open deep old wounds.



A scouring academic investigation of the fallout from the Six-Day War.

Raz delivers a compelling study of Israeli intransigence and deception after the huge territory gains it made in June 1967 by seizing the West Bank and Arab Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Peace with Israel’s aggressive Arab neighbors was the ostensible goal (“We have no aims of conquest,” declared Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to the nation), yet as Raz demonstrates, the emotional argument surrounding the gain of biblical lands largely immobilized and blinkered the Israeli leadership to the outcry from the rest of the world. Two peace options were put forth within days of the invasion: one by West Bank notables who wanted to be free of Jordanian control and declare a Palestinian state with Arab Jerusalem as capital; and the other tendered by King Hussein of Jordan, a close ally of the United States, who was eager for peace. Yet Raz shows how Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Dayan and Foreign Minister Abba Eban embarked on a “calculated double game” to appease the U.S. (from whom Israel desperately needed more fighter planes) and gain time, thus allowing the territories to empty of thousands of fleeing Palestinians and Israel to quietly “annex” Gaza and Arab Jerusalem. Indeed, using Eshkol’s metaphor, Israel wanted the “dowry” (the occupied territories) without the “bride” (the Arab population). Raz shows an Israeli government riven by indecision and plurality of opinion, Palestinians in shock and despair, King Hussein hanging on to the survival of his reign and grasping at some kind of honorable settlement, and the Palestinian guerrilla resistance gathering force in the wings.

A scrupulously researched work likely to open deep old wounds.

Pub Date: June 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-300-17194-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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